By Lauren Weinstein
Two months ago, I completed the first retreat in the Leader Program series – Creating from Self.
I heard that CTI is now offering this retreat as a stand-alone program without the need to commit to the full four retreats. Given my deep gratitude for the people who shared their experience with me when I was first deciding whether to attend, I wanted to share my experience with you.
In mid-February, I became inspired to enroll when an alumni of the program told me a story about how she successfully led her community in a fight against the local city council when she returned home from the retreat – something that her notoriously shy self would have never done in the past.
I knew I had been living my own life at only 50% – that I had more to offer than I currently was. But, despite this awareness, I didn’t know quite what to do about it. I heard this story and yearned to experience that same transformation…to be the kind of person who isn’t a victim of circumstance but who feels empowered to change the world around her – a person who lives life at 100%.
Despite this yearning, a barrage of questions and skepticism still filled my mind. Would this experience really be transformational? Would it be worth the money? Who were these other participants that I’d be spending my time with? Could I handle so much time with them?
As I carefully debated the decision, I spoke on the phone with as many alumni as I could find…until finally, based on some combination of fervent recommendations and gut intuition, I made the leap of faith.
I completed the six day retreat, and on the final day, again a barrage of questions filled my mind. How could I have experienced so much transformation in only six days? How did I even question whether this would be worth the money? How am I going to say goodbye to these people that I’ve fallen in love with?
The artist Emile Zola once wrote, “If you ask me what I came to do in this world…I will answer you, I am here to live out loud.” What I witnessed that week was a group of people newly discovering what it means to live out loud.
What do I mean by out loud? After the retreat, I realized how small I had been living. Somehow over time, life had diminished me. I made decisions based on fear. I held back from fully giving and receiving love…from fully being myself. I didn’t know my true value or what I uniquely had to offer. Others accepted me, but I didn’t accept myself. I was passive and simply a passenger on the train of circumstance.
Since returning from the retreat, I feel liberated – expanded, braver, and stronger somehow. I experienced what it’s like to live life at 100% and to give myself full permission to be exactly who I am. I know what it’s like to connect with others on a deeper, more meaningful level and what it’s like to fully give and receive love. I know my true value and what I uniquely have to offer, and I no longer let worry and fear hold me back. I feel empowered and emboldened to shape the world around me. And I’m no longer simply a passenger on the train of life…but the engineer driving it.
Do I do all things perfectly? No. But I have the awareness, and I am growing in all these capacities every day.
When I returned home, I was able to save a relationship that had been coming to an end and to transform my family dynamic from one filled with yelling and anger to one with more compassion and love. Again, that’s not to say that everything is perfect now, but it is to say that my changing has begun to change the people around me. Marianne Williamson wrote “When we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” I’ve seen firsthand that when I show up as authentic and loving (both of myself and others), I give them permission to do the same.
I still can’t explain how we achieved so much transformation in only six days – something to which all of my fellow tribe mates will attest – but we did. And if I could go back and talk to myself ten weeks ago when I was first debating the decision to enroll, I would tell myself not to even hesitate…that this experience will be one of the richest and most empowering of your life.
So I leave you with an invitation to do what I did – to take what you will from my experience and that of others…and take a leap of faith – a leap that just might transform your life.
With love and gratitude,
San Francisco, CA
By Karen Kimsey-House, CEO & Co-founder, CTI
I’m reading a great new trilogy called Ephemera by Anne Bishop. It’s sort of Nora Roberts meets Anne McCaffrey. It’s pretty much trash and no one’s choice for next month’s book club. And I’m not even READING this trilogy. I’m listening to it during the fairly long commute from Dillon Beach where I live to. . .well, to anywhere.
So, okay. . .it’s not great literature. And woven through the standard hero’s conquest and stock and trade love stories are some fascinating ideas.
Ephemera is a magical land, responsive to the resonance of the human heart, both light and dark. So Ephemera is constantly changing and shifting, reflecting resonance and truth back to its people.
The women of Ephemera are called landscapers. They care for different territories, harmonizing the different energies of each one so that while the land is responsive, it doesn’t get ripped apart by the moment-to-moment emotions that sweep through the people.
The men build bridges between the different landscapes and one can only enter a landscape that resonates in some way with their heart’s desire. In other words, you wind up where you really want to go, regardless of where you think you are heading.
In one landscape, the people have something called the Jar of Sorrows. Every year, each takes one small white stone, carrying the stone with them for several days and putting into it all the sorrows, disappointments and hardships from the previous year.
Then the people put all the stones into a large jar and cover the stones with water. The next day they gather at a special place with buckets and pails full of clean water. They open the jar and pour the water, which has turned black, onto the ground. They keep filling the jar with clean water and pouring it upon the ground until the water runs completely clean. Then they go about their lives with a light step and clear heart. They “travel lightly” which is the standard goodbye in Ephemera.
I found myself touched by how much this reminded me of coaching. As coaches,
we are like the landscapers of Ephemera, opening the resonance of our own hearts to balance our client’s and support them in finding what is most resonate and most real.
And we are like the bridges, knowing the truth of our client’s deepest desires and helping them get to where they truly want to go.
As coaches, we are like Ephemera itself, responding from a place of love and curiosity, holding the whole, wide range of the human heart, light and dark together and giving ourselves over to the Co-Active, co-creative dance with our clients.
And sometimes, we are like the Jar of Sorrows, holding our clients’ sorrows and disappointments, washing them with our encouragement, our championing and our love until the water of the Self runs clean again.
Our clients “travel lightly” and in the process, we coaches travel more lightly ourselves. May we all move through life with a lighter step, with a heart that is alive and responsive to the mystery all around us. May we live with a heart that is unencumbered with resentment, guilt and doubt. May we all travel in the light of our shared humanity, and our love for ourselves, each other and the great gift of being a human.
Interesting. Bobby Mcfarrin and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” just started playing on Pandora. So don’t worry. Be happy. Travel lightly.May 9th, 2013 by Coaches Training Institute | Comments
By Ken Goldstein, CTI Adjunct Instructor – Executive Coaching
Consultant? Mentor? Coach? However you might be trying to encourage someone who is already an outstanding professional do what they do better, what is most likely to get in your way? It is quite possible that the professional is not accustomed to being on the receiving end of good coaching. Any leader who spends most of their time getting things done promptly, inspiring a team with excellence, may have forgotten or never have learned how to be open to quality feedback. That may seem like the executive’s problem, but it is clearly a challenge any great coach should be excited to accept.
One of the key problems many executives face is the impossibility of getting honest, useful feedback, often until it is too late. A study last fall from the Kellogg School of Management identified the Icarus Paradox as a particularly pernicious factor in the continuing success of accomplished CEOs. Where top executives are often most in need of quality feedback, they are often at the disadvantage of their own nervous circles. Exaggerated levels of flattery and opinion conformity are too often the norm within organizations, leaving the already exposed leader even more exposed than necessary, too often in the spirit of being well-meaning. “My advice would be to remember that the higher you are, the more likely you are to be ingratiated, and therefore you should make sure you get advice from people who do not depend on you,” wrote Northwestern professor Ithai Stern, one of the authors of the study.
There’s some interesting advice — seek input from someone who has no reason to flatter you, but rather is 100% aligned with you objectively for success. Sounds like opportunity with huge upside for the right person ready to provide that challenge in a manner where it is unfiltered, constructive, and uncompromised. The goal is not so much self-enhancement of the individual as it is strategic enhancement of the individual’s mission, upon which so many are depending.
Sounds like an ideal place to be, but how do you get there? Surely it’s possible for someone like Baseball Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax to return to his Dodger roots and offer a pointer or two to Cy Young Award Winner Clayton Kershaw, who is still early in his career and confident enough in his own pitching to know how to listen to a legend. What if your experience is different from that of the person you are coaching — can you still be of high value? Because I do this every day with world-class individuals who do things I could never do, I promise you that you can — but you do have some immensely hard work ahead of you.
Imagine you could help anyone in the world get better at what they do in, a professional context, regardless of his or her area of expertise or your own. Hey, this is for fun, pick anyone you want — an artist, an athlete, a headline corporate leader. Great, keep that person in mind, and presume you are not renowned for the same things they are. How are you going to get past the barrier of getting them to accept your insight? That perhaps is a much bigger challenge than getting the fantasy assignment in the first place.
You might be saying to yourself your initial goal has to be to establish rapport, and that would be a good place to start, but what does it mean? In the Executive Coaching Workshop I lead with John Vercelli at The Coaches Training institute, we talk less about the notion of rapport, and more about the notion of empathy. In the many exercises and role-playing scenarios we run, we have yet to find two individuals so disparate in life experience that they cannot find a path to empathy. In this context, empathy is the basis of common understanding, an appreciation of shared aspirations and motivating factors, an interlinking of common goals outside the specifics of a work-oriented task. No matter how far apart people begin, if they make the effort and commit themselves to finding reciprocal empathy, they can find common ground to break down a set of complex problems quickly and consistently. The outreach that constitutes the task of discovering empathy leads to the bond of trust that is essential in any coaching relationship. Find empathy, establish trust, and the process of being open to outside support is not nearly as hard as it seems.
Is it any wonder that this kind of trust is difficult for an executive to exhibit in the hyper competitive workplace? Anyone in a position of leadership is constantly faced with endless conflicts of interest, mixed messages, hidden agendas, and far too much flattery. When a coach can break through all that noise through the powerful act of focused listening, the next person likely to listen might be the executive. That could constitute an unequaled breakthrough and the beginning of a powerful business friendship.
If Professor Stern and his colleagues are right about the Icarus Paradox, and senior business leaders can be set up for a fall by unrealistic levels of strategic confidence fostered by too many piled up compliments, then the smartest ones are going to look outward for the right kind of listening and more useful forms of feedback. That’s a field day for the executive coach willing to step up and be honest, empathetic, and a confidential source of creative exchange. With that kind of listening, the sky’s the limit.
Ken Goldstein most recently was Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of SHOP.COM, a venture-backed e-commerce leader acquired by Market America. Previously he was Executive Vice President & Managing Director of Disney Online, and Vice President of Entertainment & Education Products for Broderbund Software. He currently advises start-ups as well as established corporations helping unlock creativity and innovation, and is at work on his first novel due out this fall, about the strange marriage of media and technology.
Meet the Program Instructors
Join a full hour’s live discussion focused on Building A Career as an Executive Coach with Ken Goldstein and John Vercelli. This is an opportunity for you to get to know the instructors and ask any questions you may have about the Co-Active Executive Coaching Program. This free informational teleclass will be on Friday May 3, 2013, from 10 to 11 am PST. Please reserve your seat.
By David Skibbins, CPCC, MCC, CTI Faculty member
Evelyn knew that she needed some new coaching clients. Three of her regular clients were talking about ending in the next few months. She had collected a list of folks who knew her, and who might be potential clients or referral sources. Now all she needed to do was to call them up and talk to them.
So far today, she had sorted the recycling, folded the laundry, mopped the kitchen floor and she was looking for some rags to wash those living room windows that were getting so dirty. She stopped her frantic activity, and remembered that she had set out this morning to make those calls. What happened? She had to do those calls. But she just couldn’t.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Call Reluctance. Evelyn would bulldoze a new driveway before she would go into her office and make those calls. Call Reluctance researchers George Dudley and Shannon Goodson report that “as many as 80% of all salespeople who fail within their first year do so because of insufficient prospecting activity.” Unfortunately that is true of new coaches who fail, also. And the biggest barrier to increasing their prospecting activity is that fear of picking up the phone to make the first call. Has this ever happened to you?
As soon as you sit down to make one of “those” prospecting calls your heart starts beating faster. Your palms start sweating. Your brain starts racing, “I can’t bother them right now. I don’t want to interrupt their busy day with this. They hate people trying to sell them things. Besides calling is tacky and it doesn’t work anyway. And anyway it’s too…early…late…(go ahead and pick one) to call.”
But you do call. As the phone rings you pray no one is there and you can just leave a message. Or better yet, you can just hang up right now, before the Caller ID records your number. But, darn it, the person answers. You stumble through your canned speech, and make some conversation which sounds stupid to you. The other person doesn’t sound very interested. You try to get off the call as fast as you politely can manage it. You hang up with a sigh, and reaffirm that calling doesn’t work, at least for you.
You are scared. That’s what we’re really talking about here. Under that fancy label of Call Reluctance is fear, plain and simple. Well, there is some good news about your fear, and some bad news.
Let’s start with the bad news. You probably will always be at least a little uncomfortable making those prospecting calls. It isn’t natural to call up someone you know slightly, or not at all, and begin a conversation. Doing dishes is a lot more comfortable.
Sorry, too bad. You have to do it anyway; unless you have a fabulously rich and influential benefactor who is feeding you endless clients that can’t wait to pay generously for your services. Back here in the real world, in order to stay in business as a coach you have to endure at least a slight discomfort every time you make one of “those” calls. And you need to be making a lot of those calls every month if you want a full practice. Time for the good news yet?
The good news is that the full scale panic you may feel from making prospecting calls is manageable. And I don’t mean that you manage it by swallowing two Vicodin with a vodka and orange juice morning highball. Here are four simple structures you can create which will help you face and manage the fear.
- The day before you are doing your marketing calls, create a list of prospecting contacts. Start it and end it with calls to two folks you would enjoy talking with. One day I started my calls setting up a sample session with my mother, so she could know what I do as a coach, and ended up the call period reconnecting with an old friend, and also telling him about my new coaching business.
- Break it into rewarding chunks. Set a goal and then break it down, with little rewards after each chunk. One day my schedule looked like this: 20 calls broken down into 4 chunks of 5 calls each. After chunk #1: I get to go play with my dog for 5 minutes. After chunk #2: I get my second cup of tea. After chunk #3: a brisk walk around the block, dog at my side. After chunk #4: Hooray! I did it! All 20 calls! Now, I can call my masseuse and set up a one hour massage.
- It is like jumping into the pool. At first the water feels freezing, but after a little time swimming around in it, you don’t mind jumping in again and again. So just do it, even though your heart is pounding and your hands are sweating. The second call will be a little bit easier.
- Close your eyes before you make that first call and remember why you are doing this. All the reasons, even the so-called selfish ones like: “I would rather work for myself than for any other boss.” But also the more passionate reasons like how coaching aligns with your life purpose. Feel that flame that drew you into a profession dedicated to transforming people’s lives.
Your heart can transform the fears that live in your mind, and keep them from standing in the way of your destiny as a coach and as a transformative Co-Active change agent. Now start dialing!
Editor’s Note: For more help with your call reluctance, join David Skibbins, co-leader of CTI’s Co-Active Sales and Co-Active Marketing courses, for a free informational teleclass “Enroll New Clients Without Fear” from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm PST on April 25, 2013. Just click here and reserve a place.April 19th, 2013 by Coaches Training Institute | Comments
By Karen Kimsey-House, CEO & Co-founder, CTI
My heart was so heavy last night as I read of the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 people and wounding and maiming many others.
Senseless violence is always challenging and particularly so when it disrupts an occasion of such celebration and love. I have friends who have spent years working to qualify for the Boston Marathon and though I have never had the privilege of crossing that particular finish line, I do know first hand what it takes to complete a marathon and the sense of triumph and celebration at the end.
This morning I weep as I write this post…weep for the lost and the families of the lost and somehow too, the loss of innocence. I feel anger rising in me…the urge to fight, to protect and defend the sacred and preciousness of life and the celebrations and ceremonies of life. I want to find out who is to blame and be sure that they are brought to justice…they and others like them so that acts like this will never, never happen again.
And then I think of those who perpetrated this violence. What kind of darkness would need to enter a human heart for this kind of action to seem right? Hatred is corrosive. It eats away all that is beautiful and resonant within us. What would it be like to live like that? I feel sad for them as well and for the loss of light and wholeness that was their birthright when they entered this life.
For those who set the bombs: I know your humanity is not gone completely. No matter what you have done, no matter what darkness dwells within you, the Human Spirit can always beat out the the fear, isolation and painful hatred that you used to build this unimaginable act of violence.
Whatever reasons you used to justify your actions, I can assure you they are false and that you have failed and will continue to fail in your mission to eradicate light and love and the global commitment to the sacredness of life.April 16th, 2013 by Coaches Training Institute | Comments
For more information on the Executive Coach Training Program: http://bit.ly/CoachExec
Toronto: April 26-28, 2013
San Francisco Bay Area: June 11-13, 2013
Washington, DC: September 6-8, 2013
London, UK: TBD in November 2013
By Karen Kimsey-House, CEO & Co-founder, CTI
Leadership. The word conjures up images of stalwart faced people (mostly MEN in my imagination, I notice) bravely leading a company, a country, a movement. Clear direction and purpose, inspirational speeches by people who have the position and power to really make something happen.
In writing this post, I wanted to get an understanding of how we collectively define leadership, so I consulted my online dictionary and found this:
1. the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group: He managed to maintain his leadership of the party despite heavy opposition. Synonyms: administration, management, directorship, control, governorship, stewardship, hegemony.
2. ability to lead: As early as sixth grade she displayed remarkable leadership potential. Synonyms: authoritativeness, influence, command, effectiveness; sway, clout.
3. an act or instance of leading; guidance; direction: They prospered under his strong leadership.
4. the leaders of a group: The union leadership agreed to arbitrate.
Okay, maybe not so helpful. However, the synonyms are fairly telling: management, control, authoritativeness, command, clout. Really. CLOUT?????
No wonder we are in a bit of a pickle with leadership in our world today. It’s clear that our top down, command and control structures aren’t working. While hierarchy is a dandy structure for getting things done, it’s a breathtakingly ineffective at empowering people and calling forth their very best.
So, what if “leadership” was a verb rather than a noun? What if leadership was not defined by position or title but instead was measured by people’s willingness to respond and create solutions that were truly in the best interest of everyone? What if robust, engaged followership were actually considered a FORM of leadership?
What if we stepped, once and for all into the collective understanding that every single person who drew a breath had a role to play and was an integral part of resolving the challenges that face us? Yes, we all have DIFFERENT skills and abilities and it may be time to get over the notice that those who have MORE (however MORE gets measured) are the only ones who can lead.
In order to generate this shift, we must begin thinking about leadership as relational rather than structural and a collaboration rather than a domination. In other words, we must begin thinking about leadership as Co-Active.
So what is Co-Active Leadership and what is the opportunity that it offers? As a reminder, here’s our definition of Co-Active:
Co-Active represents the paradoxical balance between two primary energies of life:
Co: Relationship, holding, space, BEING?
Hyphen: Non-duality, PARADOX?
Active: Action, certainty, clarity, DOING
Applied to leadership, Co-Active invites an approach that is interactive and dynamic rather than static or dogmatic and focuses on responding in the moment CREATIVELY based on what is most needed, most useful for all right now in this moment.
Co-Active Leadership also understands that this capacity to respond, to create rather than react is nascent in all people. While the EXPRESSION of this capacity may differ depending on role the CAPACITY is within us all.
Lastly, Co-Active Leadership orients from a place of service rather than a place of ego. Instead of emphasizing looking good and getting it right, Co-Active Leadership embraces authenticity and failure.
As I bring this post to a close, I realize that there many other distinctions of Co-Active Leadership yet to be expressed. I’d love to hear from you. For those of you who have some experience with Co-Active Leadership, what distinctions feel most important to you? For those of you who are new to Co-Active Leadership, I’d love to hear what you think about what I’ve written and what feels important to you about this topic. Thank you for reading and for being in this conversation with me. It matters. . .as do you!
By Elizabeth Martyn
It was impossible not to come home changed from Fundamentals Co-Active coach training.
Waking up next day there was an exhilarating sense of excitement, of new possibilities, interesting ways to communicate – different ways to live, and to be.
Fundamentals is BIG.
And – great news – the momentum continued. I began to perceive the world through a different lens. Ask creative questions. Hear more. Understand at a deeper level.
‘You seem very alive these days,’ said a friend.
‘You’re not afraid to take a risk, are you..?’ noticed another.
‘When can you do that coaching thing on me?’, my neighbour demanded.
Grabbing the courage to start being a life coach myself was the next big and exciting step, and I took it straight after Fundamentals, continuing work with the client I coached on the course, and finding myself some more. Tentatively at first, but as clients began to get results and give spontaneous testimonials, I offered my services with conviction: ‘This stuff works – and don’t just take my word for it!’
Since Co-Active coach training, I’ve had fun, laughs and challenges galore. Made contacts and had experiences I could never have imagined.
I’ve launched my business, Time Flies Coaching. Created a website and ezine. Coached a whole bunch of lovely clients.
Opportunities dropped into my lap. I’ve written for the UK women’s magazine Psychologies about my coaching practice. Set up workshops. Met loads of people – other coaches, fellow course members, leaders, mentors, clients, small business owners.
The effects of Co-Active training have ricocheted through my personal life too. I can truly say that I’m re-designing my life the way I want it to be.
It’s a gradual, deep process, with periods of reflection interspersed with phases of high octane activity. To achieve it, I’ve let go of a lot of grief and fostered hope instead. Been more accepting of my vulnerabilities, given greater acknowledgement to my strengths.
Stretched beyond my box and taken risks. Failed – and recovered! Succeeded – and celebrated! I have a stash of champagne corks to remind me – first client, first payment, first ezine subscriber, first workshop…
Recently I added ‘first time assisting…’ as I took part in Fundamentals again, this time as an assistant from the back of the room, a fascinating new perspective.
Fundamentals life coach training opened up new pathways – maybe in my brain, certainly in my life.
So here’s the health warning. Don’t go on Fundamentals unless you’re ready for change. You’ll learn to coach, and your coaching will work its transformational magic on your clients for sure, so they grow and stretch and embrace their lives.
But you know what – it’ll have the same effect on you.March 28th, 2013 by Coaches Training Institute | Comments
By David Skibbins, CPCC, PCC
We’ve all heard the instructions from the flight attendant, “Place the oxygen mask over your own face first…” And anyone who has ever takes a search and rescue course knows never to attempt a rescue that places the life of the rescuer in danger. I am going to ask an uncomfortable question at the end of this blog post, so fasten your seat belts!
It is rare for someone to come into coaching just to make a bunch of money. Making money is never easy. Making money in a relatively new profession, selling personal growth in a field loaded with other personal growth options is quite challenging.
It wasn’t for the big bucks. So you came into this profession because it matched your values and ideals. You hoped you could actually make a living without having to sell your soul. And you hoped that you could make the world a better place in the process.
That is commendable of you, and most coaches share that belief. But there is an unfortunate decision that can spin off from that choice, and that is the decision to apply your coaching skills to those who need them most.
Idealism is a great virtue, and providing pro bono or low cost services to those in need pays back the coach in many ways. But it is not a strategy for establishing financial success as a coach. Become financially successful and then give away your services to anyone, but first you must serve yourself.
When it comes to spending your hard earned money on marketing your services, the advice to be self-serving is hard to take. We want to serve. Believe me that whoever you target as the population you will market to will benefit from your service. But we must be a bit mercenary at this moment. We must choose a group to serve that will be able and willing to buy our services, or we are in for a world of hurt.
Which may mean putting off for a couple of years working with unwed mothers while we target dentist office administrators instead. So the uncomfortable question is: Are you looking for clients who desperately need you because that is easier than educating financially successful clients about how they could use your services?
Serve yourself first and you can best serve the world.
Editor’s Note: Join David and his partner Marla Skibbins, co-leaders of CTI’s Co-Active Sales and Co-Active Marketing courses, for a free informational teleclass “Why You Can’t Sell Coaching” from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm PST on March 28, 2013. Just click here and reserve a place.March 22nd, 2013 by Coaches Training Institute | Comments
By Ellen Ercolini, CPCC, ACC
I get a lot of questions from new coaches asking me about my business. Asking how I became so successful and what they can do to shorten the path to wild financial success. My secret? I have a part time job. Yep. I have a thriving practice, satisfied clients, and two days a week I work for someone else. It seems like a dirty secret, something that makes me less successful or accomplished, something that I shouldn’t tell people about because it’s not an inspiring story of straight out of coaching school success. In reality it’s been the key to more financial success and clients than ever before.
I have been a full time coach. The financial instability was so stressful on my business and personal life. I was constantly in a cycle of feast or famine. Especially as a single young person with no deep savings account, these effects were deeply felt. After a summer of being low on funds, I decided to stop stressing out and find a part time job. I looked for one that would pay me enough to be worth taking the 2 days away from my business, as well as one that would not follow me home.
Going back to work part time after being full time coaching for a year felt like giving up. I felt like a total failure. I felt like maybe I couldn’t make it in coaching, that I hadn’t done enough of the marketing work to develop a stable stream of clients. I felt like a coaching fraud. But I set that aside, went to work two days a week and slowly started saving my paychecks – while still coaching.
Then, something amazing happened. I started landing new clients, receiving more inquiries for interviews and business partnerships. My client list doubled within a month. By stopping running my business from a place of financial scarcity and stress, I opened myself up to a whole other level of financial success and income.
This is a really important piece of becoming a professional coach with your own practice – your money mindset is huge. If you are desperate to land clients, your potential clients will feel that and avoid you. If you’re wanting to work with your potential clients because you believe in them and it’s a really good fit, they’ll move closer.
How do we manage this? How do you become successful without giving yourself a stress ulcer or freaking out potential clients?
(re)Define success. Especially in the coaching community, success seems to be defined as a thriving, full time coaching practice. Sounds great, but what does success look like and mean in your life? For me, it means being able to comfortably pay my bills and to be able to change the world through work with my clients and my writing. If I work a part time job to achieve my success, it makes me a strong, smart, capable business woman, not a coaching failure.
If you do decide to work part time – or full time – while you’re developing your coaching business, here are a few lessons I’ve learned to make that transition easier for you.
Get real with your finances. I see a lot of new coaches launching into full time coaching, without full time client rosters to back this up. It takes time to grow a practice. It also takes consistent work. Be sure you know what you need financially to make ends meet (and then some) during this time.
Block your time by days, not by hours. I have found it is easier to dive into coaching and business development for a day, not at 3pm after a five-hour shift. If you can separate your job and your business into different days of the week, it’s easier for your brain to jump back and forth.
Tell your clients what your office hours are. So many coaches, new ones especially, seem to bend over backwards to work with clients whenever the client wants. You are a business owner, and it’s important to have business hours. Having set hours to work with clients helps keep you organized and easily able to add new clients to the roster without having client appointments scattered throughout your calendar like buckshot.
Develop a weekly routine. Within the days you work for yourself, when do you see clients? When do you do business building and marketing activities? If you have a blog, when do you write? What time of day do you respond to emails? By developing routine, you develop discipline and structure which can enable your business to grow, even while you’re working part time elsewhere.
Becoming a wildly successful co-active coach takes time and consistent effort. This is why I love working with new coaches! They have so much energy and enthusiasm. However, I hate seeing people falling into the saboteur land of doubt and insecurity because they are not an instant full time financial success. Figure out what success means for you, and what you’re willing to do to achieve it. For me, I was willing to go back to work for a while as a stepping-stone towards my wild success. What will your stepping stone be?
Ellen Ercolini, CPCC, ACC loves working with fresh coaches to develop their business growth alongside their coaching skills. She believes that we must have a professional action plan to go along with our coaching inspiration. Learn more about her at The Creative Giraffe, or connect with her on Twitter or FaceBook.March 19th, 2013 by Coaches Training Institute | Comments